Dan O'Heirity

Another Milestone for Covid-19 Figures

Today I am going to take a look at a subject that I have touched upon in previous posts, namely the very real possibility that the world could see another pandemic that wipes out half of the world’s population. I know. Scary and pessimistic but likely true. However, before I delve into that scenario I’m just going to provide come CCP virus statistics because, as was obvious a few days ago, we have reached two new milestones. According to the data source that I use – which is updated at GMT+0 for the daily number of new cases and new deaths – there are 7,012,117 confirmed CCP virus cases in 213 countries and territories across the world.

Thus, we have now moved beyond the 7,000,000 mark and the number of confirmed cases continues to increase by over 100,000 per day. In ten days we will be at 8,000,000. The number of deaths has risen to 402,732 with the number of new deaths increasing at rate of between 750-1000 per day. We will undoubtedly reach a figure of 500,000 deaths, particularly as the virus takes hold in a range of new countries around the world, just as it has done with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. I’ll leave the figures there for today suffice to say that if you accept my line of reasoning that the release of the CCP virus was an act of biological warfare then, as of today, the CCP has been responsible for murdering over 400,000 people worldwide.

A Pandemic is Not a Once in One Hundred Year Event

A long time ago I berated the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for idiocy when he claimed that the CCP virus is a once in a 100 year event. One only has to look at a 20 year history to see that there have been multiple virus outbreaks. Three of these outbreaks, including the current CCP virus, have had their origins in China. According to this article from ABC News the question is not if but when there will be another pandemic. Simon Reid, an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland, who conducts research into communicable diseases, concurs. Furthermore, the next pandemic could be far more deadly. Ebola, which was thankfully contained, had a 40% fatality rate so talk of a virus wiping out half of the world’s population is not far fetched. It is a potential reality.

Before reading this article I had only really considered major virus outbreaks such as HIV / AIDS, Avian Flu, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Ebola and Swine Flu. However, here is a sobering fact from the same ABC News story. “Researchers have counted around 200 infectious diseases that have broken out more than 12,000 times over the past three decades. On average, one new infectious disease jumps to humans every four months.” Nearly all emerging pathogens like COVID-19 come from “zoonotic transfer” which is a term used to describe what happens when a virus present in animals jumps to infect humans.

Three Reasons Why We Should Be Fearful of Further Pandemics

There are at least three reasons for the increase in zoonotic events and they all have to do with humans. First, we are destroying ecosystems, forcing animals out of their habitats and releasing pathogens in the process. Secondly, livestock farming has intensified and we are trading and mixing wildlife and putting different species in close proximity with one another which creates the possibility of new viruses emerging. Third, “industrial agriculture” means huge numbers of animals are being kept in crowded and stressful conditions which lowers their immunity to any virus that might emerge. Thus, “governments and health authorities need to address what drives mass epidemics rather than just respond to individual diseases if we want to avoid the next outbreak.” This is, of course, extremely unlikely to happen as was the case with the research of Simon Reid and his colleagues which was apparently ignored for years.

I have no doubt that three reasons provided for the increase in zoonotic events are solid reasons. However, returning to the subject of China’s wet markets and live animal markets, I would concur with a point that the story makes that viruses can emerge in many different ways including, for example, from markets in just about any country around the world and, as was the case with Swine Flu, through exports from large piggeries. However, it remains the case, as this story reports, that “the presence of live animal markets in parts of Asia is strongly associated with the spread of avian influenza and the origin of SARS — and we’re seeing it again this time with the Wuhan coronavirus developing in China.” In other words, three viruses have emerged from China including Avian Flu, SARS and the most recent CCP virus.

The same story reports that one reason for the emergence of three viruses in China may be a strong cultural preference for live animal markets and for eating a wide variety of meats. Whilst this analysis might sound eminently sensible – and perhaps it is – I should caution that the same article states that, “China has an excellent system and massive capacity to investigate and control diseases, and the country’s response to recent disease emergences has been highly transparent, competent and effective.” My point. I’m not sure how much stock I would put in a news report that is so off the mark in terms of China’s disingenuous handling not just of the current CCP virus but also SARS. That said, the story does end by suggesting that the world’s leaders should be paying a lot more attention to the threat that future virus outbreaks pose for humanity.

Was Covid-19 Circulating As Early as August 2019?

I’m going to provide the full quotation for this piece of information because it is the first time that I have come across it, “Wet markets are under fire again today, despite a quarter of the initial cluster of cases having no contact with the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, and some data on COVID-19 molecular evolution suggesting the first passage to humans occurred nine months earlier than thought.’ Unfortunately the article provides no further details regarding the passing of the virus to humans nine months earlier than the cases in the Wuhan market. However, I have come across another report that states that the, “novel coronavirus might have been spreading in China as early as August 2019, according to Harvard Medical School research based on satellite images of hospital travel patterns and search engine data.” The research is available from the Harvard Digital Access website.

O.K. The idea seems a bit “out there” but I’m going to stick with it. One of the researchers, Elaine Nsoeisie, has been interviewed by Nine News Australia. Nsoeisie says that idea came about when the research team were trying to think of ways in which outbreaks of diseases might be detected in the absence of access to data and that the research approach has been validated by studies in Chile, Argentina and Mexico. The term “validated” has to do with whether the research approach measures what it purports to measure. So, in this piece of research, the claim from the research run in Chile, Argentina and Mexico is that the research approach did measure what it purported to measure i.e. increased cars at hospitals along with an increase in search engine queries on particular words did in fact demonstrate that there had been an outbreak of a disease at the related hospitals.

“China in Focus” also reports the story of this piece of research from Harvard. However, there are a couple of new pieces of information in the “China in Focus” report that will help to further explain what is meant by validity.

A different member of the research team says that there were no major events going on in Wuhan at the time that the satellite imagery was taken and there were no natural disasters. In terms of validity this rules out the possibility that the increase in hospital car park usage resulted from an influx of people to the area or from a natural calamity. Secondly, the researcher reports that the spike in car park usage was apparently not seen in previous years during flu season. In terms of validity, and having ruled out alternative possible explanations for the increased car park usage, the argument here is likely that the “best explanation” is that Covid-19 was spreading at this time.

Was There a Bio Hazard Event at a Wuhan Laboratory?

Having looked at one piece of research that has used aerial photography to come to conclusions, we may as well look at another report that also draws on aerial photography. This report is also from “China in Focus”.

The report opens with the titling, “Report says cell phone data suggests October shutdown at Wuhan lab, but experts are sceptical.” The actual dates for the alleged lockdown are October 7th – October 24th 2019 during which time there was apparently no cell phone activity around Wuhan’s high-security P4 laboratory. According to “China in Focus” the data suggests that there may have been a “hazardous” event at the laboratory some time in early October causing the laboratory to close down. Aerial photography seems to evidence that there was no outbound traffic from the laboratory between between October 14th – October 19th, 2019. And that is where the story ends, something which suggests that there really is no substance to the claims.

First Published June 5th, 2020

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s